Near or at the top for many visitors to India, Agra is home to the world-famous Taj Mahal. That isn’t all, though – its palaces, mosques, and gardens will have you lingering longer than planned. Set aside a minimum of four days for this essential destination.
Agra, oh Agra! This city nestled in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, is a gem that radiates with history, culture, and architectural marvels. The Yamuna River flows through its heart, providing a tranquil backdrop to the city’s most significant treasures.
The Mughal empire has left an indelible mark on the city, with its opulent palaces, grand mosques, and majestic forts that speak of a bygone era. Agra was once the capital of the Mughal empire, and the city’s past is evident in every corner, from the winding alleyways of the bazaars to the magnificent tombs and mausoleums that dot the cityscape.
The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri are just a few of the city’s iconic landmarks that draw visitors from all over the world. The Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous of them all, a testament to love and beauty that has stood the test of time. The Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a sprawling complex of palaces, gardens, and courtyards that once housed the Mughal emperors. Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted city, is an architectural marvel that offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the Mughal era.
Agra was not only a hub of political power but also a center of art, culture, and commerce during the Mughal reign. The city’s artisans were renowned for their exquisite workmanship, and their legacy lives on in the intricate handicrafts that are sold in the city’s bustling markets. The city’s cuisine is equally tantalizing, with its rich Mughlai flavors and aromas that leave visitors craving for more.
Today, Agra is a thriving tourist destination, a city that welcomes millions of visitors every year who come to witness its beauty, savor its flavors, and experience the unique culture of the region. The city may have changed over time, but its soul remains the same – a city that exudes a charm that is both timeless and irresistible.
Come check out our Agra travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Agra, India.
Agra City Guide: A Brief History Of Agra, India
Agra is a city steeped in history, with a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. Located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra has been a center of power, art, and commerce for many centuries.
The city’s history can be traced back to the ancient period when it was known as Agravan, a settlement that was mentioned in the Mahabharata. However, it was during the Mughal era that Agra reached the zenith of its power and prosperity. The Mughal emperors, who ruled India from the 16th to the mid-19th century, made Agra their capital city and left an indelible mark on its culture, architecture, and history.
Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, captured Agra in 1526, but it was his grandson, Akbar the Great, who made it the capital of his empire. Akbar, who was known for his love of art and culture, built the Agra Fort and began the construction of the Taj Mahal. During his reign, Agra became a hub of art, music, and literature, with many great artists and poets living in the city.
It was Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The construction of the Taj Mahal took over 20 years and was completed in 1653. The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and is considered a masterpiece of Mughal architecture.
Shah Jahan was also responsible for the construction of many other beautiful structures in Agra, including the Agra Fort, the Jama Masjid, and the Moti Masjid. The Agra Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a massive complex of palaces, gardens, and courtyards that was built to serve as the Mughal emperor’s residence. The Jama Masjid is a magnificent mosque that was built in 1648 and is one of the largest in India. The Moti Masjid, or Pearl Mosque, is a small mosque located within the Agra Fort and is made of white marble.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, Agra fell under the control of various rulers, including the Marathas and the British. However, the city’s cultural heritage remained intact, and it continued to be a center of art, music, and literature. Many great artists and poets, such as Mirza Ghalib and Nazeer Akbarabadi, lived and worked in Agra during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Today, Agra is a bustling city that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world who come to see its magnificent architecture, sample its delicious cuisine, and experience the unique culture of the region. The city may have changed over time, but its rich history and cultural heritage remain an integral part of its identity, making it a truly remarkable place to visit.
Agra Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Agra, Uttar Pradesh
If you’ve travelled to Agra, it’s for one primary reason – to see the Taj Mahal. One of the new seven wonders of the world, this magnificent structure is a mausoleum. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan commissioned its construction to give his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a glorious place to rest for eternity.
When Emperor Shah Jahan passed, he joined his love in this white marble masterpiece. In 1983, UNESCO named the Taj Mahal to its list of World Heritage Sites. As one of the best examples of Indo-Islamic architecture in India, its inclusion was never in doubt.
When planning your trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, keep some practicalities in mind. Two million people visit every year – take care to avoid weekends and holidays. Also, most visitors come between October to February, when temperatures are at their most comfortable. Highs from April-June soar above 40 degrees – if you visit then, go first thing in the morning.
The Taj Mahal isn’t the only thing to see in Agra – across from it lies the Agra Fort. More of a walled city, it served as home to the Mughal emperors when Agra was the capital. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as its three-kilometre walls, cultural significance, and commanding architecture make it a standout.
Its courtyards, red sandstone pillars, and intricate detail work will captivate you. Like the Taj Mahal, though, its scope is vast, so limit your exposure to midday heat by visiting it in the morning.
The Taj Mahal isn’t the only mausoleum in Agra. If you aren’t on a tight schedule, check out the Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah as well. Built alongside the Taj Mahal, rumours suggest it was a test draft for the Taj.
Built by one of the wives of Emperor Jahan for her late father, this place is far more peaceful. Its white marble surfaces, murals, and water works will make you glad you took the time to visit.
The main attractions of Agra centre around the Mughal royal family – however, you can also find Gurudwara Guru Ka Taal, a significant Sikh temple. Dedicated to Sri Guru Tegh Bahudar Ji, the ninth Guru of Sikhism, it is popular among pilgrims.
Built where the Mughal emperor arrested Guru Bahudar, Sikhs come here to honour his martyrdom. Filled with positive vibes, it is a pleasant place to visit. Come back at night, when the whole complex is lit up with many colours.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Agra, India
Do you want to get an iconic shot of the Taj Mahal? Of course, you do – head over to the Mehtab Bagh to get it. A garden sitting across the Yamuna River, many photographers set up here to get that photo of the Taj.
Air pollution will affect the quality of the photo you get – as such, your mileage may vary. Wet season means better clarity, but the grounds also flood. Finally, enjoy the gardens before leaving – Mughal authorities designed this space to work in concert with the view of the Taj Mahal.
Take in the most prominent religious site in Agra by visiting the Jawab Masjid. Among the largest mosques in India, there is room for thousands of worshippers, who flood in for Friday prayers. Its Mughal-era architecture makes this space special – take lots of photos, but take care to also show respect.
Agra is home to a number of interesting religious sects. If this interests you, make time to check out the Dayal Bagh community during your time here. Founded on the principles of equality for all, they worked hard in the 1910s to make their land fertile.
From that point, they’ve managed to maintain a stable farming commune based on socialist principles. People take turns tending the fields, cleaning, and working night security. Their temple is worth seeing on its own, but take time to deep-dive into their fascinating daily lives.
As the world’s most populous nation, India is a place where wildlife is under severe stress. A non-profit known as Wildlife SOS began in Agra decades ago to help reverse the damage. They are most famous for their work in rescuing sloth bears from roadside circuses. However, they have also turned their attention to assisting elephants and leopards as well. These guys are the real deal, not a sham conservation project, so visit if you have the time.
Agra’s Crown Jewel: Taj Mahal History
The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, famous for its breathtaking beauty and rich cultural significance. Located in the city of Agra, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum that was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and was completed in 1653, taking over 20 years to build. The Taj Mahal is widely considered to be a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, blending Islamic, Persian, and Indian architectural styles into a harmonious whole.
The idea for the Taj Mahal is said to have originated in the mind of Shah Jahan after the death of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child. The emperor was said to be heartbroken and deeply mourned his wife’s death, so much so that he ordered the construction of the Taj Mahal as a symbol of his love and devotion to her.
The construction of the Taj Mahal was a massive undertaking that involved the work of thousands of artisans, laborers, and architects. The main mausoleum is made of white marble, which was quarried from the nearby town of Makrana. The marble was transported to Agra by a fleet of elephants and oxen, a journey that took over a year to complete.
The Taj Mahal is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River and is surrounded by lush gardens and pools. The main entrance to the Taj Mahal is through the massive red sandstone gateway, which is adorned with intricate carvings and calligraphy.
The main mausoleum itself is an architectural marvel, with four towering minarets that rise over 40 meters tall. The mausoleum is topped with a magnificent white marble dome that is over 17 meters in diameter and is surrounded by four smaller domes. The interior of the mausoleum is equally impressive, with intricate carvings and inlaid work that depict flowers, vines, and other decorative motifs.
The Taj Mahal is not just a masterpiece of architecture, but it also has a rich cultural significance. It is considered a symbol of love and devotion, not just between Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, but for all couples who visit the monument. The Taj Mahal is also a testament to the Mughal Empire’s cultural and artistic achievements, showcasing the fusion of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architectural styles.
Over the centuries, the Taj Mahal has undergone many renovations and restorations to maintain its beauty and structural integrity. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, attracting millions of visitors from around the world every year.
In conclusion, the Taj Mahal is a testament to the enduring power of love and a remarkable achievement of architectural and artistic excellence. Its beauty and cultural significance have made it a cherished landmark, not just for India but for the world as a whole.
How To Visit The Taj Mahal In Agra
Visiting the Taj Mahal is an experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in the city of Agra in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
When planning your visit, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. The Taj Mahal is open to visitors every day except Fridays, from sunrise to sunset. It’s recommended to arrive early to avoid the crowds and to plan your visit in advance by purchasing your tickets online or at the ticket counter near the entrance.
When visiting the Taj Mahal, it’s important to dress appropriately. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering their heads and shoulders. It’s also recommended to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved.
To fully appreciate the history and cultural significance of the Taj Mahal, it’s highly recommended to hire a guide. There are plenty of licensed guides available near the entrance who can provide insightful information about the monument. A guide can help you understand the intricate details and design of the Taj Mahal, as well as the historical and cultural significance of the monument.
The Taj Mahal is surrounded by beautiful gardens that are a treat to explore. Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the breathtaking views of the monument from different angles. The gardens are meticulously maintained and provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Taj Mahal complex includes a mosque and a guesthouse, both of which are worth visiting. The mosque is located to the left of the main entrance, while the guesthouse is located to the right. These structures are impressive in their own right and provide a glimpse into the architectural and cultural history of the region.
The Taj Mahal looks stunning at sunset, with the warm golden hues of the sun casting a magical glow over the monument. If you plan to visit at sunset, be sure to arrive early to secure a good spot. The sunset view is a must-see and is a perfect opportunity to take stunning photographs.
While taking photographs is allowed, it’s important to be mindful of the rules and regulations around photography. Avoid using flash and be respectful of the monument and its surroundings. Do not touch the walls or surfaces of the monument and avoid littering.
Visiting the Taj Mahal is an unforgettable experience that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural and historical heritage of India. By planning ahead and following these tips, you can make the most of your trip and fully appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of this magnificent monument.
Top 10 Things To Do in Agra, Uttar Pradesh For Visitors
Agra is a city that exudes a rich cultural heritage and is filled with magnificent monuments, historic buildings, and scenic gardens. The city is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world, and for good reason. From the iconic Taj Mahal to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, there are a plethora of things to do in Agra that will leave you awe-inspired.
One of the top attractions in Agra is, of course, the Taj Mahal. This iconic white marble mausoleum, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. It is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture and is renowned for its intricate carvings, beautiful inlay work, and stunning symmetry. A visit to Agra would be incomplete without experiencing the Taj Mahal at least once in your lifetime.
Agra Fort is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a must-visit destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. The fort, built by Emperor Akbar in 1565, was once the center of Mughal power and is an imposing structure that dominates the Agra skyline. A walk through the fort’s walls and courtyards will transport you back in time to the Mughal era and leave you awestruck by its grandeur.
Fatehpur Sikri, an abandoned city that was once the capital of the Mughal Empire, is another fascinating place to visit in Agra. The city, built by Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century, is home to many beautiful palaces, mosques, and courtyards, and is a fine example of Mughal architecture. The city’s Buland Darwaza, a massive gateway built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat, is one of the most impressive monuments in India.
If you’re looking for a serene spot to enjoy a beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, then the Mehtab Bagh is the perfect place to visit. This garden, located on the banks of the Yamuna River, provides an unobstructed view of the Taj Mahal and is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. The garden is especially beautiful during sunset, when the Taj Mahal is bathed in a warm orange glow.
Sadar Bazaar is a bustling market in Agra that offers a unique shopping experience to visitors. The market is filled with a wide variety of shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to modern fashion. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts, or even some beautiful jewelry to take back home.
If you’re interested in learning about the local cuisine, then a cooking class is a great way to experience the unique flavors of Agra. The city is known for its delicious food, and taking a cooking class can teach you how to make some of the most popular dishes. You’ll learn about the different spices and techniques used in cooking, and get to taste some of the mouth-watering local dishes.
The Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, also known as the “baby Taj,” is another stunning mausoleum in Agra that’s worth visiting. The tomb is a fine example of Mughal architecture and is known for its intricate carvings and inlay work. It’s a smaller and less crowded version of the Taj Mahal, and is a great place to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
The Akbar Mausoleum, located in Sikandra, is another beautiful monument that’s worth visiting. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar and is a great example of Mughal architecture. The tomb is set in a beautiful garden, which is a
lovely place to relax and unwind while admiring the stunning architecture.
If you’re interested in local history, the Agra Museum is the perfect place to visit. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from the Mughal era, including paintings, weapons, and pottery. It’s a great way to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Agra and the Mughal empire.
For those interested in wildlife, the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is a great place to visit. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of birds, including migratory birds that come here during the winter months. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature while admiring the colorful birds.
Moreover, if you’re looking for a unique and offbeat experience, then a visit to the Sheroes Hangout Cafe is a must. The cafe is run by acid attack survivors and offers a safe and supportive environment for these women to work and socialize. The cafe serves delicious food and drinks and is a great way to support a worthy cause while enjoying your time in Agra.
Agra is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, food, nature, or offbeat experiences, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Agra that will leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to explore the wonders of Agra!
What To Eat and Drink in Agra, India
Agra is a city that is famous not just for its history and culture, but also for its delicious food. The city has a rich culinary heritage that is a blend of Mughal, Indian and Persian cuisines. Here are some of the must-try dishes when you’re in Agra:
- Petha: This is a sweet delicacy that Agra is famous for. It is made from white pumpkin and is available in different flavors, such as plain, kesar, and angoori. Petha is a perfect gift to take back home for your friends and family.
- Bedai and Jalebi: This is a popular breakfast dish in Agra. Bedai is a kind of crispy, fried bread that is served with a spicy dal and a sweet and sticky jalebi.
- Mughlai food: Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire, and so it’s no surprise that the city has some of the best Mughlai food in India. Some of the must-try dishes include biryani, kebabs, and curries.
- Chaat: Agra has some of the best chaat in India. Chaat is a street food that is made from a mixture of fried dough, chickpeas, potatoes, and a variety of spices and chutneys. Agra’s chaat is known for its unique flavors and is a must-try for anyone visiting the city.
- Lassi: This is a popular drink in Agra, especially during the summer months. Lassi is a yogurt-based drink that is sweetened with sugar and flavored with saffron, cardamom, and other spices. It’s a refreshing drink that’s perfect for beating the heat.
- Paratha: Paratha is a popular North Indian bread that is stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as potatoes, onions, and paneer. Agra is known for its unique style of parathas that are cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) and served with a variety of chutneys and curries.
- Dalmoth: This is a popular savory snack that is made from a mixture of lentils, nuts, and spices. Agra’s dalmoth is known for its unique blend of flavors and is a great snack to munch on while exploring the city.
- Kachori: Kachori is a deep-fried snack that is filled with a spicy mixture of potatoes, peas, and spices. Agra’s kachoris are famous for their crispy exterior and delicious filling.
- Rabri: Rabri is a sweet dish that is made from condensed milk and flavored with saffron and cardamom. It’s a rich and indulgent dessert that is a must-try when you’re in Agra.
- Kulfi: Kulfi is a frozen dessert that is similar to ice cream but has a creamier and denser texture. Agra’s kulfi is known for its unique flavors, such as paan (betel leaf) and mango.
Agra is a foodie’s paradise, with a variety of dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. From sweet treats to spicy chaat and rich Mughlai cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Agra. So be sure to sample these culinary delights on your next visit to this historic city.
Top Restaurants In Agra, India
Agra is not just known for its historic monuments, but also for its rich culinary culture. The city has a wide range of restaurants, cafes and street food stalls that offer a variety of cuisines to satisfy every taste bud. Here is a guide to some of the best restaurants in Agra:
- Peshawri: Peshawri is a restaurant that serves authentic Mughlai cuisine. The restaurant has a rustic ambiance and is known for its kebabs, biryanis and tandoori dishes. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Dal Bukhara, which is a creamy black lentil preparation that is cooked over a slow fire for several hours.
- Dasaprakash: Dasaprakash is a vegetarian restaurant that serves South Indian cuisine. The restaurant is known for its dosas, idlis and uttapams. The restaurant’s specialty is the thali, which is a platter that consists of several small dishes served in small bowls.
- Jahanpanah: Jahanpanah is a rooftop restaurant that offers a breathtaking view of the Taj Mahal. The restaurant serves North Indian and Mughlai cuisine and is known for its kebabs and biryanis. The restaurant also has a live music performance in the evenings.
- Shankara Vegis: Shankara Vegis is another vegetarian restaurant that serves South Indian cuisine. The restaurant has a simple decor and is known for its idlis, dosas and vadas. The restaurant’s specialty is the filter coffee, which is a strong and flavorful coffee that is served in a traditional South Indian tumbler and dabara.
- Pinch of Spice: Pinch of Spice is a restaurant that serves North Indian and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant has a contemporary decor and is known for its biryanis, curries and dim sum. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Butter Chicken, which is a creamy and rich chicken preparation that is cooked in a tomato-based gravy.
- Mama Chicken Mama Franky: Mama Chicken Mama Franky is a popular street food stall that is known for its chicken tandoori and frankies. The stall is located in the Sadar Bazar area of Agra and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Agra has a variety of restaurants that cater to all kinds of foodies. Whether you’re in the mood for authentic Mughlai cuisine or South Indian delicacies, Agra has something for everyone. So be sure to try out these restaurants on your next visit to this historic city.
Tours For Visitors To Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, and with good reason. The city is home to some of the world’s most magnificent historical monuments, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Visitors to Agra have a wide range of tour options to choose from, depending on their interests and time constraints. Here are some of the most popular tours for visitors to Agra:
- Taj Mahal Tour: A tour of the Taj Mahal is a must for any visitor to Agra. Most tour operators offer a range of options, from a basic tour of the monument to more detailed tours that include a visit to the Agra Fort and other historic sites in the city. Visitors can choose to take a guided tour or explore the monument on their own.
- Agra Fort Tour: The Agra Fort is another must-visit site in the city. Built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century, the fort is a testament to the grandeur and opulence of the Mughal era. A tour of the Agra Fort typically includes a visit to the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas and other important structures within the fort complex.
- Fatehpur Sikri Tour: Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage site located about 40 km from Agra. The city was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar and served as his capital for a brief period in the 16th century. A tour of Fatehpur Sikri typically includes a visit to the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Panch Mahal and other historic structures within the city.
- Food Tour: Agra is known for its rich culinary culture and a food tour is a great way to experience the city’s flavors. Most food tours include a visit to local markets, street food stalls and restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines. Visitors can sample everything from kebabs and biryanis to chaat and sweets.
- Cultural Tour: Agra has a rich cultural heritage that is worth exploring. A cultural tour typically includes a visit to local handicraft markets, music and dance performances and other cultural events. Visitors can learn about the city’s arts and crafts traditions, music and dance forms, and get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the people of Agra.
- Bicycle Tour: A bicycle tour is a great way to explore Agra’s historic sites and neighborhoods. Most bicycle tours start early in the morning and cover a distance of about 10-15 km. Visitors can ride through the narrow lanes of the city, stop at local markets and interact with the locals.
- Sunrise Tour: A sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal is a popular option for visitors who want to experience the monument in a different light. The tour typically starts early in the morning and allows visitors to watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a visit to the Agra Fort.
- Photography Tour: Agra is a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning architecture and beautiful landscapes. A photography tour is a great way to capture the beauty of the city. The tour typically includes a visit to the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and other historic sites in the city. Visitors can also explore the city’s markets and neighborhoods to capture its vibrant street life.
- Day Trip to Mathura and Vrindavan: Mathura and Vrindavan are two historic towns located near Agra. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan is the site of several important temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. A day trip to Mathura and Vrindavan is a great way to explore the religious and cultural heritage of the region.
- Wildlife Tour: Agra is home to the Keetham Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The sanctuary is located about 20 km from Agra and is home to several species of birds, including the Siberian Crane, Indian Skimmer, and Pallas’s Fish Eagle. A wildlife tour of the sanctuary is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the region.
Agra offers a wide range of tour options to visitors, from the iconic Taj Mahal to the rich cultural heritage of the city. Whether you’re interested in history, food or culture, Agra has something to offer everyone. So be sure to book a tour on your next visit to this fascinating city.
Agra Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
If you’re planning a trip to Agra, finding the right accommodations is key to a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Agra has a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here’s a guide to some of the best accommodations in Agra:
- Oberoi Amarvilas: The Oberoi Amarvilas is one of the most luxurious hotels in Agra. The hotel is located just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and offers stunning views of the monument from its rooms and suites. The hotel features a spa, a pool, and several dining options, including an Indian restaurant and a rooftop lounge.
- ITC Mughal: The ITC Mughal is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of Agra. The hotel is inspired by Mughal architecture and features a beautiful garden and pool. The hotel offers several dining options, including an Indian restaurant and a Mediterranean restaurant. The rooms and suites are spacious and offer all modern amenities.
- Hotel Taj Resorts: Hotel Taj Resorts is a budget-friendly hotel located near the Taj Mahal. The hotel offers comfortable rooms with all basic amenities. The hotel features a rooftop restaurant with views of the Taj Mahal. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle service to the Taj Mahal.
- Backpacker Panda Friends – Agra: Backpacker Panda Friends is a hostel located in the heart of Agra. The hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation and private rooms. The hostel features a rooftop lounge, a shared kitchen, and a common area. The hostel is a great option for budget travelers.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Agra Taj East Gate: The Radisson Blu Hotel Agra Taj East Gate is a 5-star hotel located near the Taj Mahal. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and several dining options, including an Indian restaurant and a Chinese restaurant. The rooms and suites are spacious and offer all modern amenities.
- Tajview – IHCL SeleQtions: Tajview is a 5-star hotel located near the Taj Mahal. The hotel features a pool, a spa, and several dining options, including an Indian restaurant and a Mediterranean restaurant. The rooms and suites are spacious and offer all modern amenities.
- The Coral Court Homestay: The Coral Court Homestay is a bed and breakfast located near the Taj Mahal. The homestay offers comfortable rooms with all basic amenities. The homestay features a garden and a shared lounge. The homestay is a great option for budget travelers who want a more personal experience.
No matter what your budget or preferences are, Agra has something for everyone. With its wide range of accommodations, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay for your trip to Agra.
Day Trips From Agra, India
Agra is known for its stunning monuments, but there’s much more to explore in the surrounding areas. If you have a day to spare, here are some day trips from Agra that are worth taking:
- Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage site located 40 km from Agra. The city was built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century and was the capital of the Mughal Empire for a brief period. The city is known for its stunning architecture, including the Buland Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.
- Mathura: Mathura is a city located 50 km from Agra and is considered one of the holiest cities in India. It is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is home to several temples dedicated to him. The city is also known for its Holi celebrations, which are famous throughout India.
- Vrindavan: Vrindavan is a town located 70 km from Agra and is known for its association with Lord Krishna. The town is home to several temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus. The town is also known for its Holi celebrations.
- Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is a bird lover’s paradise located 55 km from Agra. The sanctuary is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Siberian Crane. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and February when the migratory birds arrive.
- Keoladeo National Park: Keoladeo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located 60 km from Agra. The park is home to over 370 species of birds and is known for its wetlands, which provide a habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna.
- Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary: The Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is located 90 km from Agra and is home to a wide range of wildlife, including the critically endangered Ganges river dolphin. The sanctuary is also home to several species of crocodiles and turtles.
- Bateshwar: Bateshwar is a town located 70 km from Agra and is known for its 101 Shiv temples. The town is located on the banks of the Yamuna River and is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus. The temples are made of sandstone and were built between the 8th and 10th centuries.
- Aligarh: Aligarh is a city located 90 km from Agra and is known for its educational institutions. The city is home to Aligarh Muslim University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in India. The university has a rich history and has produced several prominent leaders and scholars.
- Dholpur: Dholpur is a town located 60 km from Agra and is known for its stunning palaces and temples. The town was ruled by several dynasties, including the Mughals and the Rajputs, and has a rich history. Some of the popular attractions in Dholpur include the Machkund Temple, the Shergarh Fort, and the Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Batesara: Batesara is a small village located 25 km from Agra and is known for its ancient stepwells. The village has over 100 stepwells, which were built between the 8th and 11th centuries. The stepwells were used for water conservation and are considered architectural marvels. The most famous stepwell in Batesara is the Chand Baori, which is over 1,000 years old.
These day trips from Agra offer a glimpse into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the region. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient monuments, visiting pilgrimage sites, or birdwatching, there’s something for everyone.
Agra Transportation Guide
Agra is a popular tourist destination in India that is renowned for its magnificent historical sites, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri. Visitors to the city will need to navigate through various transportation options to make the most of their trip. Here is a detailed guide to the different transportation modes available in Agra:
- Taxis: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Agra and are available throughout the city. They are the most convenient way to travel around the city, especially if you’re planning to visit multiple sites in one day. You can hire a taxi for a full day or negotiate a fare for individual trips. It’s essential to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi to avoid any confusion later on.
- Auto-rickshaws: Auto-rickshaws, also known as tuk-tuks, are a popular and affordable mode of transportation in Agra. They are ideal for short distances and can be easily found on the streets. Auto-rickshaws usually run on meters, but it’s always better to negotiate the fare before getting in.
- Cycle-rickshaws: Cycle-rickshaws are a unique mode of transportation in Agra and are perfect for short distances. They are pedal-powered and can accommodate up to two passengers. They are slower than auto-rickshaws but provide a more leisurely and scenic way to explore the city.
- Buses: Agra has a well-developed bus network that connects various parts of the city. There are both government-run and private buses available. They are an affordable option, but can be crowded and uncomfortable during peak hours.
- Trains: Agra is well-connected to major cities in India via trains. The city has two main railway stations, Agra Cantt and Agra Fort, which are connected to cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai. The trains are comfortable and provide a hassle-free way to travel long distances.
- Self-Drive Cars: If you prefer to have your own transportation, you can rent a car and drive yourself around Agra. Self-drive cars are easily available in the city, but be aware of the traffic and driving conditions in Agra.
When choosing a mode of transportation in Agra, it’s important to consider your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are the most convenient and widely used options, but cycle-rickshaws offer a unique and leisurely way to explore the city. Buses and trains are the most affordable options, but they can be crowded during peak hours. Self-drive cars provide more freedom and flexibility but require you to be comfortable driving in Indian traffic conditions.
It’s also important to negotiate fares before getting into any vehicle, especially auto-rickshaws and taxis. While many auto-rickshaws have meters, they may not always be used. Negotiating the fare in advance will help you avoid any misunderstandings or overcharging later on.
Agra offers a range of transportation options to suit different preferences and budgets. With the right mode of transportation, you can explore the city’s rich history and stunning architecture with ease and comfort.
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Agra?
After your trip to Agra, there are several destinations nearby that you may want to consider visiting. Here are some suggestions for places to add to your itinerary:
- Jaipur: Known as the “Pink City,” Jaipur is a vibrant and colorful city located about 240 km from Agra. It is home to many famous attractions, such as the Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, and Jantar Mantar.
- Delhi: India’s bustling capital city is a must-visit destination located around 200 km from Agra. From historical sites like the Red Fort and Qutub Minar to modern attractions like the Lotus Temple and India Gate, Delhi has something for everyone.
- Ranthambore National Park: Located around 250 km from Agra, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places in India to spot tigers in the wild. In addition to tigers, the park is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife, including leopards, sloth bears, and crocodiles.
- Mathura and Vrindavan: These two cities are located around 60 km from Agra and are considered to be sacred by Hindus. Mathura is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, while Vrindavan is where he spent his childhood. Both cities are home to many temples and other religious sites.
- Fatehpur Sikri: Just a short distance from Agra is Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once the capital of the Mughal Empire. The city is filled with stunning architecture, including the famous Buland Darwaza, a massive gateway that is one of the tallest in the world.
- Varanasi: Located around 600 km from Agra, Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is considered to be one of the holiest cities in India and is known for its spiritual and cultural significance.
- Amritsar: Home to the Golden Temple, one of the most sacred sites in Sikhism, Amritsar is a city located around 700 km from Agra. It is also known for its vibrant street food scene and colorful bazaars.
- Haridwar and Rishikesh: These two cities are located around 450 km from Agra and are considered to be gateway cities to the Himalayas. Haridwar is a holy city known for its temples and ghats, while Rishikesh is a popular destination for yoga and adventure sports.
- Khajuraho: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its ancient temples featuring stunning erotic sculptures. It is located around 400 km from Agra.
- Pushkar: This small town located around 400 km from Agra is known for its holy lake and the annual Pushkar Camel Fair, a colorful and vibrant festival that attracts visitors from all over the world.
- Udaipur: Known as the “City of Lakes,” Udaipur is a beautiful and romantic city located around 600 km from Agra. It is famous for its stunning palaces, including the Lake Palace, which is built on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola.
- Jaisalmer: This desert city located around 800 km from Agra is known for its stunning sandstone architecture and its proximity to the Thar Desert. Visitors can explore the city’s narrow streets and visit the famous Jaisalmer Fort.
- Hampi: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located around 800 km from Agra and is home to the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagara. Visitors can explore the many temples, palaces, and other structures that make up this fascinating site.
- Goa: This coastal state located around 1300 km from Agra is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and Portuguese colonial architecture. It is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.
- Mumbai: India’s largest city is located around 1200 km from Agra and is known for its bustling streets, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks like the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
- Kolkata: Located around 1300 km from Agra, Kolkata is a city with a rich history and culture. It is known for its colonial architecture, vibrant street food, and cultural festivals like Durga Puja.
- Darjeeling: This hill station located around 1400 km from Agra is known for its stunning views of the Himalayas and its famous tea plantations. Visitors can explore the town’s charming streets and take a ride on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
- Shimla: Another popular hill station located around 600 km from Agra, Shimla is known for its colonial architecture and its beautiful surroundings. Visitors can explore the town’s charming streets and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Leh: Located in the Ladakh region of northern India, Leh is a high-altitude city that is known for its stunning landscapes and Buddhist culture. Visitors can explore ancient monasteries, trek through the Himalayas, and soak up the unique culture of this fascinating region.
- Srinagar: It’s a city in Jammu and Kashmir known for its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine. The city has a long and storied history dating back to the 3rd century BC, and its architecture and culture have been shaped by Hinduism, Islam, and the Mughals. Some of the top attractions in Srinagar include the Dal Lake, the Mughal Gardens, the Hazratbal Shrine, and the Shankaracharya Temple. It is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
These are a list of the many destinations that you can visit after your trip to Agra. With so much to see and do in this part of India, you’re sure to have an unforgettable adventure.
Agra Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
Agra is a city that will capture your heart and leave you in awe with its magnificent architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. The city is famous for its iconic Taj Mahal, but there is so much more to explore and experience in Agra. From the stunning Mughal gardens and forts to the delicious cuisine and bustling bazaars, Agra offers something for every traveler.
To make the most of your trip to Agra, be sure to plan ahead and consider all the different options available. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and culture of the city or explore on your own to discover hidden gems. Try the local cuisine and indulge in some shopping at the bazaars. And don’t forget to take in the breathtaking views of the Taj Mahal at sunrise or sunset.
When it comes to accommodations, Agra offers a range of options to fit any budget and preference. Whether you choose to stay in a luxury hotel or a homestay, you will find warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations in Agra.
Getting around in Agra is relatively easy with a variety of transportation options available, including taxis, buses, and even horse-drawn carriages. However, be prepared for traffic congestion and occasional delays.
Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas of Agra. Take a day trip to nearby attractions like Fatehpur Sikri or explore other destinations in India, such as Delhi or Jaipur.
Agra is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to India. With its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, Agra will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
In Agra’s city of love,
Lies a wonder of the world,
The Taj Mahal, a sight to behold,
Its beauty, forever unfurled.
Agra’s streets are full of life,
With bazaars and food to delight,
The Mughal Gardens, a peaceful sight,
And the Agra Fort, a symbol of might.
Take a stroll along the Yamuna River,
Or a horse-drawn carriage ride,
Let the city’s history and culture guide,
And its warmth, your heart, abide.
Agra, a city that never sleeps,
Its charm and magic forever keeps,
In its streets, a story unfolds,
A journey of wonder that never grows old.